Gorodets is one of the oldest Russian settlements in the Nizhny Novgorod Volga region. When it comes to the date of its foundation, some researchers call 1152, and others - 1172. The first believe that Gorodets was built by Yuri Dolgoruky to protect the eastern borders of the Rostov-Suzdal principality. According to the second, the founder of the city is the son of Yuri Dolgoruky - Andrey Bogolyubsky. It was first mentioned in the annals in 1172, when the son of Andrei Bogolyubsky, Mstislav, passed here with his army during the campaign against the Volga Bulgaria.
11 interesting facts about Gorodets
- In the winter of 1238, Khan Batu passed through Gorodets. The city was badly damaged, but was quickly rebuilt. For some time it even became the center of the Gorodets principality, which quickly lost its independence. Currently, Gorodets is part of the Nizhny Novgorod region, the distance to the regional center is about 70 kilometers. Now Gorodets is home to about 30, 000 people.
- In 1263, Alexander Nevsky died in Gorodets. The Grand Duke of Vladimir was returning from the Horde seriously ill. There is speculation that he was poisoned in the Horde. Before his death, Alexander Yaroslavich accepted the monastic schema under a new name - Alexei. Initially, he was buried in the Nativity Monastery of Vladimir, and in 1724 the Russian Emperor Peter the First ordered to transfer the relics of the prince to St. Petersburg to the Alexander Nevsky Monastery.
- In 1408, Gorodets was burned by Khan Edigey. For a long time in Russian chronicles it was called Empty Gorodets. Gorodets was revived only in the 17th century, becoming not a city, but a large trading village. In the second half of the 17th century, schismatics from different regions of the Russian state began to come here, Gorodets became one of the largest centers of the Old Believers.
- It was the Old Believers who became the founders of the gingerbread craft in Gorodets. Gorodets printed gingerbread were known far beyond the borders of this settlement. Special boards (gingerbread molds) were cut out of hardwood, with the help of which prints in the form of drawings and patterns were created on the gingerbread. According to V.I.Dal's information, even gingerbread weighing a pound was baked in Gorodets. Since 2008, the Gingerbread Museum has been operating here.
- A lot of flour was required for gingerbread, and Gorodets was famous for its grain trade. Most of the gingerbread was delivered to the famous Nizhny Novgorod fair, and from there this sweet product was sold throughout the country. He mentions Gorodets gingerbread in his travel notes by the German traveler and writer Adam Olearius.
- In 1767, the Russian Empress Catherine II made a trip to the Tver gallery along the Volga. On May 19 she also visited Gorodets. And in 1772 the village was granted to one of Catherine's favorites - Grigory Grigorievich Orlov. Three years later, Gorodets became the property of Vladimir Orlov, Grigory's brother. It was in Gorodets in 1812 that the Orlov family moved here during the war with Napoleon.
- Gorodets flourished in the late 19th - early 20th centuries. Despite the fact that Gorodets was still a village, he could well compete with the district town of Balakhna. Several factories operated in Gorodets, shipbuilding was developed. And merchants from neighboring provinces came to the local fair. In 1922, Gorodets was returned to the status of a city.
- Besides gingerbread, Gorodets was famous for its wood painting. Local carvers and painters made furniture and household items. Beautiful paintings adorned the gates, doors and shutters of local houses. Unfortunately, history has not preserved the name of the first master who began to decorate his products with bright paintings.
- The merchant dynasties made a huge contribution to the development of Gorodets. Thanks to local philanthropists, two gymnasiums, public schools, and an orphanage were opened in Gorodets. In memory of them in 2002, a Monument to the merchants of Russia was erected in the city. He is a bronze figure of a merchant, in one hand he holds a model of an Orthodox cathedral, as a symbol of faith. And with the other hand, the merchant opens the casket, symbolizing wealth and mercy. In pre-revolutionary Gorodets there was even Kupecheskaya Street, which received a new name in the Soviet era - Lenin Street.
- The famous Russian painter, one of the founders of the Association of Itinerants, Alexei Kondratyevich Savrasov, often traveled to the Volga. The great Russian river is captured in many of his canvases. In 1870 Savrasov painted the painting "The Volga near Gorodets".
- In July 2011, the Museum of Kindness was opened in Gorodets. And it is named so due to the fact that most of the exhibits are the "good" of local residents of the XIX and early XX centuries: samovars, dishes, keys, locks and other household items. The museum was opened in the house of the merchant Plekhanov. And the initiator of the creation of such a museum was the collector Nikolai Polyakov.